The 2016 Arizona State BJJ Championships are once again in the books. The annual tournament consistently draws Arizona’s top competitors and the 2016 edition was no different. The kid’s divisions once again kicked off the tournament on Saturday. The competition for the kids’ team title is always fierce with Power MMA, CTA, and Ares/Nava BJJ consistently vying for the first place spot. One Jiu Jitsu, a new organization created by Giva Santana, captured the first place trophy. While the One Jiu Jitsu headquarters are in Orange County, CA, two of its main affiliates are De Boa Jiu Jitsu in Surprise and Siege MMA in Peoria. Below are the official kids’ team results.
1st – One Jiu Jitsu
2nd – Lotus Club Jiu Jitsu
3rd – Power MMA
4th – Ares/Nava BJJ
5th – GD Jiu Jitsu/Horizons M.A.
The adult divisions took place on both Saturday and Sunday and were filled with exciting matches. The standouts of the tournament who took gold in both their divisions and the absolute were Christian Natividad of AZ Combat Sports, Chris Putnam and Jake Watson of Power MMA, Gudrun Gunther of Chute Boxe Academy/Checkmat AZ, Rob Johnson of GD Jiu Jitsu Prescott, Keolaimipono Kalama and John Cabay of Ares/Nava BJJ, Sean Downie and Mauricio Goncalves of Lotus Club, Andrew Gardineer of De Boa Jiu Jitsu, and Carlos Farias of Carlos Farias Jiu Jitsu.
Christian Natividad of AZ Combat Sports started his weekend off by winning the Blue Adult Light Feather division. Not satisfied with just one gold medal, Christian returned on Sunday in search of absolute gold. “Each and every one of my opponents were very tough, but it was nothing I haven’t seen. I have some of the best coaches and training partners who definitely prepared me for these two days. Coming into the open weight, I wasn’t as nervous as I should have been even though all of my opponents were the state champions of the other divisions. I wanted to have fun and that’s what I did. I stayed calm, listened to my coach and brother, and finished off on top.” Christian’s open class win had the crowd cheering as he took on much larger opponents.
Another great performance on Sunday came from De Boa Jiu Jitsu head instructor Andrew Gardineer, winning the Black Masters 1 Medium Heavy and Open class divisions. “I look forward to the AZ BJJ State Championships every year. Like all GD events they run smooth and have great competition. I competed in the Black Belt Masters 1 Medium Heavy division. I only had one match in my division, a quick loop choke that was enough to capture the Gold. The Open weight class was pretty stacked. I faced the Ultra Heavy Weight first and was able to finish by back choke. I then re-matched my opponent from my division, going the distance and securing a 6-0 victory. In the finals I fell behind due to an early sweep from my opponent. I was able to sweep back into a knee bar to toe hold transition securing the tap and the double Gold! It was a fun day. My students from One Jiu Jitsu/ De Boa did amazing! The Double Gold brings my Gold medal count to 6 for the AZ State Championships.”
Congratulations to all the coaches, competitors, and spectators who made this rendition of the State Championships one of the most memorable to date. Below are the final results for the Adult divisions.
1st – GD Jiu Jitsu
2nd – Ares/Nava BJJ
3rd – Power MMA
4th – BJJ Revolution
5th – AZ Combat Sports